You have a very large filling that needs to be replaced…does that mean you need to get a dental crown? Not anymore! Inlays and onlays are a more conservative option that fit into damaged teeth similarly to a filling, but they are rigid restorations like a crown. Inlays fit in between the cusps (a tooth’s biting surfaces) to repair the interior of the tooth, while onlays fit over one or more cusps. These “partial crowns” allow a patient to retain more of their natural tooth structure, which helps the repaired tooth last much longer.
To determine whether or not an inlay or onlay is right for you, Dr. Metzger will assess your problem using a thorough oral exam. Because these restorations are created in a lab just like a crown, they require at least two appointments to be designed and placed.
At an initial visit, Dr. Metzger will prepare your tooth by removing any decay or old fillings before cleaning it. She’ll then take a dental impression and send it to a lab so that a ceramist can fabricate a customized inlay or onlay for you. She’ll determine which material should be used, but in most cases, teeth that show when you smile will receive a white restoration. The back teeth are constantly exposed to extreme pressure, so a full-metal inlay or onlay may be necessary. You'll wear a temporary while your final restoration is being made.
When you return to our dental office, Dr. Metzger will remove your temporary and cement your final inlay or onlay into place. After a quick polish and modifying the restoration as necessary to ensure an aligned bite, you’ll be ready to go, and you'll enjoy a stronger, healthier smile for years to come.
Could your smile benefit from an inlay or onlay? The only way to find out is to give us a call today!